Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Julian Deane, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
A poised performer on the comedy circuit, where his masterful joke writing and casual roguishness set him apart, Julian Deane has got rather stuck between two stools for his Fringe debut. Opening with a fusillade of some of his best one-liners, the London comic demonstrates sublime deployment of the pullback and reveal gag.
As introductions go, it’s richly amusing but also makes it difficult to get a bead on him, as his constant reaches for the punchline muddy his autobiography – you can’t be entirely sure what’s true. Even so, a picture emerges of a cheeky, working-class wit who had kids young and in spite of himself, is trying to do the right thing.
With mixed success it transpires, as the greater part of his show is turned over to his arrest for drink driving and brief incarceration in Belmarsh Prison. An hour of zingers may have been exhausting. Deane is a decent storyteller. But it’s not his absolute forte and he doesn’t milk the experience for all it’s worth, the gags supporting but not elevating the tale. Nevertheless, several in isolation are absolute belters and you intuit he’ll be back better equipped in years to come.
Just the Tonic at The Tron (Venue 51) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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